Higher education in the Netherlands is divided into two streams: universities (research universities) and universities of applied sciences (UAS). NHL Stenden is a UAS where the focus lies on the practical application of the knowledge students gain. Research universities, on the other hand, focus on scientific research. 

In the Netherlands, universities of applied sciences such as NHL Stenden offer three types of degree, namely associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. 

  • Associate degrees are also known as foundation degrees and are generally a two-year study that carries the same weight as two-thirds of a bachelor's degree and is equivalent to an EQF level 5. 

  • The bachelor's degrees are normally four-year courses but can be completed in three years depending on your previous education. At NHL Stenden, bachelor studies include internships, practical assignments, minors and chances to study and work abroad. 

  • The master's degrees are generally one-year programmes that help you develop your expertise further. Of course, many of NHL Stenden's programmes can also be done part-time. This means they take longer to complete (generally two years) but can then be combined with working. 

Dutch lecturers are facilitators 

Studying in the Netherlands may be quite different to what you’re used to. Dutch classrooms tend to reflect the country’s broad culture and its values of equality and autonomy. Students are expected to develop their own intellectual independence and are stimulated to share their ideas and opinions. All of this is part of a teaching style which has received international praise. Lecturers at Dutch schools and universities are more like facilitators who guide students in their learning process. Students are expected to be assertive, proactive and independent so that they develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

Design-Based Education

At NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, we use Design-Based Education, an educational concept that combines an inter-disciplinary approach with real-world assignments. It works so well that it’s one of the #6 reasons students choose to come and study and NHL Stenden. You can find out more about what our students think of our education concept and how it works here.

The Dutch education system has a strong connection with both national and international businesses and with partner universities across the world. This means there’s a wide choice of internships and work placement possibilities and more career opportunities for students.